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The Everyman Grand Reopening

With the Everyman Theatre reopening this month Laura Edwards spoke to Chief Executive, Geoffrey Rowe as he reflects on the restoration. Photograph Rob Wheatman. crack

We’ve waited and watched for signs of change as the Everyman Theatre has undergone its restoration, but now the waiting is over. With the Everyman reopening and a great line-up of performances in the coming months, it’s an exciting time for theatre in Cheltenham.

Geoffrey is the man who has made this happen. When he became Chief Executive five years ago he made it his priority to see the restoration take place.

“The theatre has desperately needed restoring for the last 10 years; it had become shabby and below the public’s expectations,” says Geoffrey.

“Just as you would restore an old manor house, it’s important to look after these historic buildings and restore them to their former glory.”

The restoration has been funded by the Heritage Lottery, Arts Council England and Cheltenham Borough Council but has also seen great support from the town with theatre enthusiasts donating to the cause.

“We’ve had great support, for example 250 people have sponsored seats – a fantastic response.”

Having been lucky enough to step inside the theatre I can report it looks incredible with the magnificent chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The grandeur has returned and it is once again rich in colour.

“We have largely followed the original colour scheme; they knew what they were doing,” says Geoffrey. “The
surroundings are much more comfortable, with new seating, bars, a cafe and even new toilets - the whole
thing has been refurbished.”

The Everyman Theatre opens on Monday 23rd September with a sold out performance from Ken Dodd. The Madness of George III will then run from Monday 26th September.

You can find out more about the restoration project at www.everymantheatre.org.uk